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What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
If she had dropped the her attempt to shunt her excellent writing on the plant kingdom into a bad attempt to justify a philosophical agenda under the veneer of her scientific credibility.
Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?
Worse! Readers lacking an advanced skeptical toolkit and experience with these topics will be unable to disentangle Goodall's messy blend of real and junk science in the later chapters. Goodall, a primatologist, betrayed a vast ignorance of other fields of science, even going so far as to reprint long dead controversies as if they were never resolved. If this book sells well, it could set back this debate by a decade or more.
Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Not as a narrator, I've seen talks by Goodall. Her voice is so soothing I feel like I'm criticizing my grandmother.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Yeah, I love plants, and this book had lots of interesting insights into that world. I even intend on listening to it again.... I'm just going to skip the last third of the book. (and I'm totally going to make a box of "flower seed grenades")
Any additional comments?
I understand Goodall has a philosophy that sees the act of breeding/engineering new kinds of plants as a kind of violation of nature, and is intrinsically untrustworthy. I also understand this as a kind of moral intuition, one that she attempts to justify the best way she knows how, the authority of science. I can respect that in the same way I respect a man who only eats kosher. I can appreciate his moral intuition, even how he satisfies it, without agreeing with his justification (ie, pork being bad for you).
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Jane Goodall is an amazing person. She personifies the calm curiosity in which we should all approach the world. Her life choices and experience are inspiring, her story is touching and reading this book definitely planted a seed of hope in my soul.